Control volatile organic chemical smells


Does your laboratory have volatile organic chemicals that produce strong, pungent odors even when the cap and bottle are intact? Controlling these smells, often found in chemical storage areas, will help reduce your risk of exposure.

Volatile organic chemicals can escape their containers, which presents an exposure risk to everyone in the lab. Restricting the ability for the chemical to disperse into the air can lower that risk.

chemical storage bag

Reduce your risk of overexposure in your chemical storage areas by doing one or more of the following:

  • Store non-flammables in a vented cabinet.
  • Use Teflon tape (also known as plumber’s tape or thread seal tape) to wrap the threads on the top of the bottle before placing the lid back on top of the bottle.
  • Use a polycone cap for secondary containers.
  • Wrap the lid with parafilm.
  • Place the bottle in a chemical storage bag.

Chemical storage bags are heavy-duty polyethylene bags meant for keeping chemicals safely stored and are sold by various manufacturers. Contact vendors listed in UW Procurement Services to find bags that are recommended for this purpose. Obtain bags appropriate to store the sizes of your containers. These bags usually have an open top that twist shut, and a twist-tie secures the top. When all the organic chemicals inside a cabinet are wrapped like this, the odor associated with opening the cabinet will significantly decrease.

Contact for questions about chemical storage.